WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO INCREASE THE POSSIBILITIES OF SUCCESS
By Cesar Torrente
In the recent USPRE week held during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington Florida, and thanks to the USPPRE Association, we had a wonderful opportunity to talk about the future of this beautiful breed. Breeders, trainers and judges had the opportunity to discuss different aspects of the development of the breed for Dressage. I want to use this article to express my thoughts on the subject, obviously from a Judge´s perspective.
I would like to start by reminding two very important topics, that I believe we all agreed on:
First that all horses must be judged by the way they perform, and judges can never mark a horse based on his origin or breed. As Kyra Kyrkland has said: “a good horse is a good horse, no matter what breed.”.
Second that that the PRE horse has (a) a natural talent for collected movements specially piaffe, passage, and pirouettes, because of the way they are built which is due to the history of their breeding (b) a great mind and character, they are usually willing, sensitive active and forward going and very motivated to work. In a nutshell they have a great “corazón” heart.
After these basic principles, the question in my mind is what is the future of the PRE dressage horse in the Americas and what needs to be done to increase the possibilities of success.
I would like to start by saying that education is the key to any form of success, in life and obviously in sports. And by this, I mean education of breeders, trainers, riders, judges and everyone involved in the sport. I have seen owners in some Countries that want their 3-year-old horses to do all the high-level movements, without basic foundations and preparation, and this only leads to the destruction of horses that otherwise could have reach the top levels of the sport. Trainers and riders totally unaware of the basic principles of training, by arguing that they have a “different system” therefore neglecting the training pyramid and the basics of the sport may also end up destroying horses’ careers that otherwise could have been very successful. And the same goes to us judges, giving high marks to improper training or low scores to horses with quality gates that also follow the training scale and the principles of the FEI Dressage Rules.
Sometimes I see PRE´s winning every single class and sometimes I attend shows where unfortunately they get very low scores. And the difference is made only by the proper or unproper training which leads to a good or bad performance. And this is where we should turn our attention to.
We should look at every horse as an individual, provide him with the best possible training, taking into consideration his physical and metal strong points and weaknesses.
Finally, it is very important to recognize the importance of “breeding the PRE for dressage” obviously maintaining the beauty and characteristics of the breed. Dressage talent for the PRE horse cannot become pure luck. Like in any other business a rate of successful movers is essential for the breeders and for this to happen the mares must also be trained and taken into consideration for any successful breeding program.
Therefore, PRE breeders must move to breeding with more focus on sport as is happening in SPAIN and in the USA and PRE Associations in Central and South America must also invest in education for the entire community, as it is happening in Europe and North America in order to provide our horses with the best possible training. If we achieve these two goals, I have no doubt that the future will be bright for this wonderful breed.
 FEI 4* Dressage Judge and USEF “S” Dressage Judge